Conservation Science

Grasscutter breeding

Grasscutters are large African rodents and are recognized as an important rural protein source and popular speciality meat. We are working to develop a selective breeding programme to support the grasscutter farming communities in the Upper West region of Ghana.

Grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus)
Grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus)

Grasscutters (Thryonomys swinderianus), are large African rodents and are recognized as an important rural protein source and popular speciality meat. Because of this, the species is heavily exploited through hunting across its native range. Efforts to domesticate and commercialise grasscutter have so far been unsuccessful, primarily due to the lack of selective production breeding which restricts both the availability and quality of animals supplied to farmers.

Together with the University of Ghana and a local non-profit company, Grasscutter Initiative for Rural Transformation (GIfT), we are working to develop a selective breeding programme, improve farm animal husbandry and generate market awareness among small businesses. This project is funded by the Innovate UK Agri-tech Catalyst scheme and will complement activities carried out through Kyoto University in Japan. This work will not only support the grasscutter farming community through increasing productivity and profit margins, but will also benefit poor rural communities in the Upper West region of Ghana by providing greater access to affordable protein.

Please contact Rob Ogden for further information

Related links

Ghana Grasscutter Project